New York gives funding boost to urban and rural housing


Gov. Cuomo has passed critical budget bills that include a $5.4 million allocation to the brand new Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund. This Fund will support mixed use affordable housing development in urban neighborhoods, as well as projects compatible with the needs of rural communities statewide. The fund is an initiative developed by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) and will support critical initiatives for statewide affordable housing development in State Fiscal Year 2013-14.

Governor Cuomo has committed $95 million in funding to this initiative over five years, as part of the Governor’s $1 Billion House New York program, including $60 million for urban mixed use affordable projects and $35 million for rural affordable housing.

Created through a budget bill, the Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund is now a permanent program, which designates 60% of the Fund be used in urban areas with populations over 25,000, and 40% in rural areas with populations under 25,000.

The Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund will support mixed use affordable housing development by subsidizing the commercial, retail or community facilities component of mixed use projects. By decreasing the level of debt that a developer must carry on the retail component of a project, this Fund will make commercial space in these developments much more accessible to local businesses and community-based organizations.

The Fund will also support projects in rural and suburban communities compatible with the needs and scale of smaller communities. Existing programs are underwritten to support larger projects, which may be incompatible with the needs of rural communities. In addition, federal programs to support rural rental housing recently have been reduced or eliminated. The Fund will fill the gap in support for housing development and rehab in rural areas.